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Old 01-05-2010, 02:48 PM   #21
Recycles dryer sheets
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: nyc
Posts: 100
Originally Posted by Katsmeow View Post
The idea though is that you should only spend what you have so at the beginning of the month let's say I budget $200 to dining out and 3 weeks into the month it is used up and I want to eat out again.

I just modify the budget for dining out to, say, $250 and then play whack a mole to some other category to cause it all to balance. That extra $50 has to come from somewhere.
I do the same thing with mint each month. I have only so much I chose to spend a month in total, & I tweak each area as needed, depending on where I'm spending the most. Some categories (like travel) roll over, so that I can save money for a few months, for a nice trip. Other categories (like coffee shops), I give myself $20 & I've only spend $10 at the end of the month, I take my 'budget' down to $10, & put that $10 in savings. Next month, I bring it back up to $20, & see what I spend.

I don't feel deprived by doing this; it makes total sense to me that one month I might spend a lot more on groceries (like Nov, when I cooked Thanksgiving Dinner), & another month, I spend a lot more on eating out (like Dec, when I took my parents out for Xmas).

In each case, the other areas are tweaked to give me the money where I need to spend it.

I've found that doing this really does cut down on the fluff that I won't miss. Once, I spent $50 on fast food, & I felt so dumb about that - since then I haven't spent more than $20.

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Old 01-06-2010, 04:26 AM   #22
Recycles dryer sheets
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 400
Originally Posted by Trek View Post
Do you know if allows one to input banking data manually as well? I know it can pull my data automatically from US financial accounts, but I also have foreign accounts it wouldn't be able to pull data from. I couldn't find anything on the website about it.
I don't know about Mint, but Yodlee moneycenter has a option for entering accounts manually. What I do is keep monthly track of our Chinese account balances (and now our mortgage) by hand there -- if you don't have too many foreign accounts or other accounts you need to track manually it is managable.

I've been using yodlee for several years now and have been happy with it. It is nice being able to go to one site and get automatic updates of most account balances. Doesn't work so well for tracking spending habits, though, as we follow the local practice of working mostly with cash for daily expenses.


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